County still ranks first in per capita COVID cases

    Crawford County is at the top of the list in the state for its per capita rate for positive COVID cases for a second week in a row. The county is ranked ninth in the state in total volume of cases over the week reported from March 26 through April 1. Other jurisdictions that rank higher include St. Louis County and City, Kansas City, along with St. Charles, Jackson, Greene, Jefferson and Franklin counties.


    With another 34 new confirmed cases reported from March 26 to April 1 (the same as the previous week), the county in again in the first spot for cases per 100,000 in the state. That also kept the seven-day positivity rate above the 10 percent benchmark that is considered high. Crawford County’s seven-day positivity rate using the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) method was 11.9, down slightly from last week’s 12.5 percent.
    As of April 3, the state website reported a new total of 2,184 confirmed PCR cases to date in Crawford County. There were 333 probable antigen cases reported. The total death count remained constant at 35.
County residents have now had a total of 17,194 PCR tests conducted and 5,502 antigen tests. There were 294 PCR tests conducted in the seven-day period ending on April 1, and 210 antigen tests.
Statewide, as of March 26, there had been 2,055 new confirmed cases (those with a positive PCR test) in the previous seven days, increasing slightly from 2,042 last week. The average increased to 294 per day this week from 292 last week. Those with a positive antigen test are reported as “probable” cases and that total was 1,391 for the week, down from 1,418 the previous week. If a person has both a positive PCR and antigen test, they are only counted as a confirmed case.
Across the state, there were 287,748 vaccine doses administered in the seven days from March 26 to April 1, compared to 244,592 for the previous week. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses per person.  
    There were 2,119 confirmed PCR cases over the week, and 1,435 probable antigen cases. There were 52,070 PCR tests conducted over the week and 32,868 antigen tests.
    The state’s PCR positivity rate increased to 4.5 percent using the CDC method from 4.2 percent. The antigen positivity rate also increased from 4.2 to 4.5 percent.
    New deaths for the week totaled six, the same as the previous week. Hospitalizations declined from 788 to 748 as of April 2. There were 120 patients in the ICU compared to 148 last week, and 76 on ventilators—down from 98 last week at this time.
    The Crawford County Health Department (CCHD) recommends the state-maintained dashboard as the best source of data related to COVID-19. Although the state website’s reported information is somewhat delayed, it provides in-depth information and has a team of experts ensuring the best and most accurate data possible is reported. The website can be found at https://showmestrong.mo.gov/public-health/.
    Health officials continue to caution that any public activity should be considered a potential risk, and all precautions need to be taken to protect your own health and the health of those around you.
    Symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19: Fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea. This list does not include all possible symptoms.
    Anyone who suspects that they have COVID-19 or has been exposed to someone with COVID-19, and are experiencing symptoms, should stay home and isolate from others, especially those at higher risk of severe illness. Call a healthcare provider to let them know before seeking care. It is critical that the provider is aware that a person may have COVID-19 prior to their arrival at a healthcare facility, and that the person follows all instructions for arriving at a healthcare facility.
    The health department asks that anyone who develops symptoms contact their physician, seek testing and isolate at least until test results are known. Potential contacts may call the CCHD office to be screened to determine if monitoring and quarantine are required. CCHD’s office number is 573-775-2555. Please do not contact the health department via Facebook.
    Health officials continue to urge people to follow the steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of getting any viral respiratory infections, including COVID-19. These include:
    • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Social Distance: Avoid close contact with others, especially people who are sick.
    • Cover mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
    • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.
    • Wear a mask or cloth face covering when in public.
    • Stay home when not feeling well; stay home after being tested for COVID-19.    
    CCHD has taken and will continue to take the necessary precautions to keep the community safe and will continue to diligently monitor the COVID-19 situation as it evolves by following the CDC guidelines to protect public health and limit the spread of this infection.
    For general information and questions regarding COVID-19, please call 1-877-435-8411.

Vaccinations available locally
    Members of the community are encouraged to pre-register for the vaccine through the following locations:
    • BJC HealthCare (includes Missouri Baptist Sullivan Hospital)—register at www.bjc.org/vaccine. For those without internet or e-mail access, the following phone number can be used as an alternate: 314-273-1252. Due to high demand, wait times on this line can be lengthy so it is recommended to use the website when possible.
    • Franklin County Health Department—register at https://www.franklinmo.org/health
    • Crawford County Health Department—call 573-775-2555 press 0 to be connected with an employee.
    • Sink’s Pharmacy, which operates Steelville Drug, Towne Pharmacy in Cuba, and numerous other area locations, has begun administering COVID-19 vaccinations in the area. To sign up for future Sink’s Pharmacy vaccination clinics, visit www.sinkspharmacy.com.
    • Walmart in Cuba, Salem, Potosi, and Rolla—to check availability and schedule an appointment visit www.walmart.com/COVIDvaccine.
    Those who pre-register will be contacted when vaccine is available to them.
     Currently the state of Missouri is vaccinating Tiers 1A-1B (all tiers). For more information, including who falls into each tier, please visit: Missouri Department of Public Health: https://covidvaccine.mo.gov/.